Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard

Revealed secrets, love and forgiveness swirl through this superb new novel from Charlotte Hubbard.

A Mother's Love tells the story of Widow Rose Raber, who lost her father and husband in a sawmill fire. Raising her daughter Gracie while caring for her sick mother has been challenging. Then when on her death bed Lydia reveals Rose was adopted and she is not to seek out her birth mother because that woman has too much to lose if the secret comes out, her world is turned upside down. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith, newcomer Matthias Wagler is another unexpected surprise in her life.

When her birth mother unexpectedly shows up at Rose's new job, their bond is instant and unmistakable. But Saul Hartzler isn't a man to be reckoned with. He soon realizes his wife's deception and is appalled that she bore a child he knew nothing about. Now this truth threatens Matthais' livelihood and Rose's future. Rose and Matthias must place all their faith in God and trust He will provide a miraculous resolution.

A Mother's Love is a captivating story. From the very first moment the reader is drawn into Rose's life: the ache of the loss of her family, her uncertainty and anger over learning about her birth mother, the challenges of being a single parent, the desire to find her birth mother, the need to carve out a new life for Gracie and her, and so much more. This story will tug at your heartstrings as much as it will comfort you in realizing that God works out all things for the good of His people.

With each new novel I read from Charlotte Hubbard I think, this is the best story she has ever written. Then she amazes me by writing another fabulous story that is even better. If you haven't read anything by Hubbard before, you're missing out on one of the best names in Amish fiction. Pick up a copy of A Mother's Love today and find out for yourself.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 149670844X
ISBN-13: 978-1496708441

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Click on these links to buy this book now!


Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Spotlight: Beethoven in Love by Howard J. Smith

We're happy to host Howard J. Smith's BEETHOVEN IN LOVE: OPUS 139 Virtual Book Tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!


Author: Howard Jay Smith

Publisher: SYQ

Pages: 385

Genre: Literary Fiction/Biographical Fiction

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the
great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past. 

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor
the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:


Book Excerpt:

The Death of Beethoven
Vienna, 5:00 pm,
26, 1827
Outside Beethoven’s rooms at the Schwarzspanierhaus, a fresh measure of snow from a late season thunderstorm muffles the chimes of St. Stephens Cathedral as they ring out the hours for the old city.
    Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier…
Funf  Uhr. 
Five O’clock.
    Beethoven, three months past his fifty-sixth birthday, lies in a coma, as he has now for two nights,
his body bound by the betrayal of an illness whose only virtue was that it proved incurable and would, thankfully, be his last. Though his chest muscles and his lungs wrestle like giants against the approaching blackness, his breathing is so labored that the death rattle can be heard over the grumblings of the heavens throughout his apartment. 
     Muss es sein? Must it be? Ja, es muss sein. Beethoven is dying. From on high, the Gods vent their
grief at his imminent passing and hurl a spear of lightening at
     Their jagged bolt of electricity explodes outside the frost covered windows of the Schwarzspanierhaus with a clap of thunder so violent it startles the composer to consciousness. 
     Beethoven’s eyes open, glassy, unfocused. He looks upward – only the Gods know what he sees, if
anything. He raises his right hand, a hand that has graced a thousand sonatas, and clenches his fist for perhaps the last time. His arm trembles as if railing against the heavens. Tears flood his eyes.
     His arm falls back to the bed… His eyelids close… And then he is gone ...


About the Author

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony - "The Best Small City Symphony in America" -  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.




Monday, April 24, 2017

Guest Post: One of My Favorite Characters by F.M. Meredith, Author of Unresolved

Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing with a 10% discount and free shipping.

Books may be ordered from all the usual places as well.

One of My Favorite Characters in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series

Cheryl asked me to tell about my favorite character in this series, but instead, I wanted to tell you about a fairly new character that I’m growing fond of, the new Chief of Police, Chandra Taylor.

Chandra, the second African American on the RBPD, came to Rocky Bluff from the San Francisco Police Department. She knew her chance of advancing beyond lieutenant were nil. Though the small beach town of Rocky Bluff certainly didn’t compare to San Francisco, it didn’t take long before Chandra began to enjoy her job, the police officers who worked under her and the community itself.

In A Crushing Death, Chandra’s life was threatened by a man she’d arrested in the past and Detective Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, not only protected her but became friends in the process.

When the mayor is murdered and the other members of the city council all become suspects, Chandra finds herself attracted to the man who has become the new mayor, Devon Duvall. Whether or not this attraction will develop, of course, depends upon Devon’s innocence.

It’s always fun for me as an author, when new and interesting characters become a part of the Rocky Bluff series. I hope that readers will enjoy this new twist as well.

F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at and her blog at

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mercy Street on PBS Cancelled After Season 2

Annoyed. Agitated. Disappointed. I feel all this and more at the recent news that Mercy Street--PBS’ Civil War-era medical drama--has been cancelled after just two seasons. In this world of reality television, Mercy Street was a breathe of fresh air: drama, romance, and an exploration into a tumultuous time in our country's history. Giving both equal time to those inside and outside of Mansion House Hospital, this period drama captivated me from the start.

Josh Radnor as Dr. Jedediah Foster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Mary Phinney were just two of the outstanding actors that made the show worth watching. Mercy Street's strength resided in its character development: both in one-episode characters and recurring.

While Season 2 ended powerfully with the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation and the promise of better things to come, there are so many stories left unwritten. Will Emma Green and Chaplain Hopkins be able to get beyond what happened at the creek? How will the death of her only living son impact Hospital Matron Brannan? Will Silas Bullen continue on the straight and narrow? Can James Green Jr. ever meet up to his family's expectations?

There is a #SaveMercyStreet campaign and a petition to sign. As of right now, I am adding Mercy Street to my list of reasons I hate getting caught up in shows only to see them cancelled. This list includes: Dawson's Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Cedar Cove.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Coming in May: What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman

Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw
is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

Series: The Amish Bishop Mysteries (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736966471
ISBN-13: 978-0736966474

Pre-order here!